Cataracts in children occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent (clear). This results in cloudy or misty vision. Childhood cataracts are often referred to as:
• congenital cataracts – cataracts present when a baby is born or shortly afterwards
• developmental, infantile or juvenile cataracts – cataracts diagnosed in older babies or children
HOW IS CATARACTS IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSED?
The paediatrician would recommend laboratory tests which include TORCH titers, VDRL, serum calcium and phosphorus levels and urine for reducing substance. The differential diagnosis for leukocoria or white pupil includes retinoblastoma, PFV, retinopathy of prematurity, chorioretinal colobomas, toxocariasis.
HOW IS CATARACTS IN CHILDREN TREATED?
The treatment involves surgical removal of a cataract in an infant or child which is done under general anesthesia using an operating microscope. Once the cataract has been removed, focusing power may be restored by using contact lenses, intraocular lenses or glasses.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cataracts that affect vision that aren't quickly treated can sometimes cause irreversible damage to eyesight, including a permanently lazy eye and even blindness in severe cases.